Box art for The Hunter (2012)

The Hunter (2012)

  • Rated R

independent, special interest


A skilled and focused mercenary is sent into the Tasmanian wilderness on a hunt for a tiger believed to be extinct.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    70%
  • Audience Score
    62%

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    70%
    reviews counted: 18
    see all The Hunter (2012) reviews
  • Audience

    62%

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: By the time The Hunter jettisons its narrative ballast altogether and embraces its elemental appeal, it's too late.

- Adam Nayman, Globe and Mail, Friday, April 13, 2012

Rotten: It's all intended to be darkly metaphorical. In actuality, it's a mediocre film unfolding without plan, purpose or enthusiasm.

- Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fresh: "The Hunter" doesn't particularly test him, but Dafoe, who's in every scene of the film, easily dominates it.

- Jake Coyle, Associated Press, Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Audience Reviews

4 stars

This is a really good film. Beautifully photographed, and slowly paced..yet not boring. One of the underrated gems of 2011, in my opinion. My husband didn't seem to care for the ending, but I liked it. Willem Dafoe is really good in this, and I found the storyline intriguing. Well done.

- itsjustme2004, Wednesday, September 5, 2012

3 stars

Willem Dafoe is one of those actors that despite possessing a recognisable name in cinema still isn't afraid to take on projects that are in danger of being unrecognised. He's worked with some of my favourite director's in David Lynch, Lars von Trier and Wes Anderson and yet always finds the time to be involved in lesser known works. This is another example of that. A biotech corporation hires hunter Martin David (Willem Dafoe) to track down the, believed to be extinct, Tasmanian tiger. He finds board with a single mother (Frances O'Connor) and her two children who's father has disappeared in the hills, hunting the same animal. As David delves further into the hunt, he realises that all is not as it seems and his employers, the locals and a tracker (Sam Neill) have other plans for him. The premise of this film about the hunt for the last known Tasmanian tiger is intriguing enough but it grips even more because of the finely tuned, low-key atmosphere; the indulgence in some beautiful sweeping landscapes and a lead actor that has character written all over his rugged face. From the opening alone, it's apparent that this film is in no rush and seemingly revels in it's methodical approach. Now, that's not normally a problem for me. In fact, I welcome it but when the film hints at a further depth without fully providing it then I begin to feel disappointment creeping in. There are themes of man's relationship with nature and environmental issues going on underneath it all somewhere but the deeper you dig, you realise it's not that profound. Yet, on the surface it would have you believe it is. That's not to say that there's not plenty to admire here. There is; it has a decent - if underdeveloped -conspiracy thriller element and it's more than competently shot with beautiful cinematography and another solid performance from Dafoe to add to his growing canon. Most of the weight is on his shoulders and he carries it well but despite a very good performance, I wasn't entirely convinced about his characters actions. On the one hand, he was very kind and concerned and the other, uncaring and cold. I think the fault with this lies with the script. His character isn't fleshed out enough leaving him enigmatic. Maybe this was intentional but I just took his character to be muddled, giving off mixed messages and never fully allowing me to identify with him. The rest of the characters came off even less developed which would leave you to believe that this air of mystery amongst them was part of it all. If so, it just didn't work for me. It shares similar themes to "The Grey" before it, in terms of man versus nature and even in it's attempts at a philosophical approach. I enjoyed it but I expected a little more profundity.

- MrMarakai, Friday, July 27, 2012

3 stars

Some Mysteries Should Never Be Solved Very good movie! This is a film full of evocative movements, which all serve to drive the narrative forward and provide insights into the character. The plot is unique and I'm sure I have not come across anything similar before. The landscapes are amazingly beautiful and the story line keeps you going. I like Dafoe's performance on this. A mercenary employed by a highly secretive biotech-research company sets out into the wilds of Tasmania in search of the elusive Tasmanian tiger -- an animal assumed to be extinct by scientists, yet rumored to have been spotted in the area in recent years. Adapted from the novel by author Julia Leigh, The Hunter follows Martin (Willem Dafoe) as he ventures out on his mission and arrives at the home of Lucy Armstrong (Frances O'Connor), who has been heavily depressed since her husband vanished into the surrounding wilderness months ago, and who now lives alone with her young daughter Sass (Morgana Davies) and taciturn son Bike (Finn Woodlock) - who have volunteered to host him in their home during the course of his research excursion. Shortly after arriving in Tasmania, Martin is accompanied to the edge of the wilds by Jack Mindy (Sam Neill), an old friend of Lucy's who has kept watch over her family and balks at the newcomer's decision to navigate the rough terrain unaccompanied. In the wake of a clash with hostile local loggers, Martin gradually begins to learn more about Lucy's family and develops a tenuous friendship with her two young children. But later, just as Martin begins to feel as if his goal is finally within reach, an unexpected development sends his mission into a tailspin and causes him to question the motivations behind capturing such a strange and majestic creature.

- MANUGINO, Monday, May 28, 2012